(A version of this appears on Pigskin Punditry).
This is all Missouri and Nebraska's fault for wanting to move to the Big Ten?
I've yet to say too much about the spineless, feckless leadership of Dan Beebe, current commissioner of the Big 12 conference.
Well, I think it is time for that to end.
Dan Beebe took over as commissioner of the conference in 2007.
In three years, he might be overseeing its death, and he has no one to blame but himself for this.
Of course, instead of owning up to the responsibility, he is trying to force the responsibility for the demise of the league on two schools from the North division.
At least, that is how it appears to me with the rumor that Nebraska and Missouri have been given until either this coming Friday or next Friday to pledge their loyalty to the Big 12.
The timeline for Big Ten expansion still has about six months (minimum) before it will probably be resolved.
And having worked at a Big Ten institution, I can tell you that the glacial timeline is appropriate for that league. Tradition demands that one be deliberate, after all.
Meanwhile, the Pac-10 appears to already be set on offering the entire south division except for Baylor an invitation, and yet there is no mention of an ultimatum for those schools — who are a helluva lot closer to being given an shot at a new league.
Let's say you run a multi-million dollar corporation. You have two fellow corporations looking to steal away some of your twelve employees. You know that one company may be coming by within the next six to twelve months to poach two solid employees, and that another company is planning on trying to poach six employees tomorrow. Those six include your top two producers.
So why would be willing to let those six employees talk with the rocket fast corporation while telling the two employees who might be interested in the opportunity six to twelve months away that "We need to know your future plans now?"
It logically makes no sense to shame Missouri and Nebraska into staying, telling them, "You'd better stay or else." while letting Oklahoma and Texas et. al do whatever the hell they want.
You've already acknowledged, by refusing to discuss changes to the revenue-sharing model, that you consider the conference's bread to be buttered by Texas and Oklahoma.
If that be the case, then why let them walk with a smile and a hearty wave and instead try to lower the hammer on Missouri and Nebraska?
The perception is already out there that Missouri isn't worth the trouble; they're too busy trying to run away from the league because it's been too hard for them and hell, even if they leave, it won't matter because the league will thrive. Heck, they might even get an exemption to play a championship game because it's Division 1 football. It's the Big 12. It ain't intramurals.
Never mind if perception is reality or not in this instance, because in Dan Beebe's world, you don't try and get loyalty oaths from the schools that are bringing in the most revenue. That, apparently, is too logical.
Would a Big 12 network have been a panacea in this instance? Who knows? If the revenue from that network was distributed inequitably, it probably wouldn't have been.
But why have the talks about a Big 12 network seemingly been ongoing for three years with no movement towards actually establishing a network, while the Big Ten and the Mountain West both have television networks? (Granted, the Mountain West Network has issues of its own, but that's a conversation for another time.)
Can someone tell me what Dan Beebe's greatest accomplishment has been in three years running this league? Because as hard as I try, I can't seem to find anything that he has done that has helped move the Big 12 forward.
As far as I can tell, the death of the conference might wind up being his greatest accomplishment.
But if the conference goes down in flames next week, well, he can always say he stuck it to the Huskers and the Tigers.
Way to go, Dan